Daughters perform last rites Photograph:( ANI )
Home Minister Amit Shah, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, and a host of other dignitaries, among others laid wreaths on the mortal remains of General Rawat and his wife
Mortal remains of India’s top military officer General Bipin Rawat and his wife, who died in the helicopter crash, were consigned to flames with full military honours in Delhi on Friday.
The funeral procession began at 2 pm and the funeral took place at the Brar Square Crematorium.
The Chief of Defence Staff was accorded a 17-gun salute, as per laid down protocols. After playing the Last Post and Rouse by tri-services buglers, the funeral pyre was lit by his two daughters.
Top military officers from Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bhutan joined for the final rites. Sri Lanka was represented by the chief of defence staff and commander of the Sri Lankan Army Gen Shavendra Silva.
The Royal Bhutan Army was represented by Brig Dorji Rinchen, deputy chief operations officer of Royal Bhutan Army. The Nepal Army was represented by vice-chief of Army staff Lt General Bal Krishna Karki and chief of Army staff Gen Prabhu Ram Sharma.
Among the foreign diplomats present for the final rites include Emmanuel Lenain, Ambassador of France to India, and Alex Ellis, British High Commissioner.
#WATCH | Delhi: #CDSGeneralBipinRawat laid to final rest with full military honours, 17-gun salute. His last rites were performed along with his wife Madhulika Rawat, who too lost her life in #TamilNaduChopperCrash.— ANI (@ANI) December 10, 2021
Their daughters Kritika and Tarini performed their last rites. pic.twitter.com/uTECZlIhI0
Defence minister Rajnath Singh and around 800 service personnel were in attendance for the military funeral of General Rawat.
“It’s incredibly sad. He was a pioneer as he started the joint defence approach which we follow in the UK. He led that approach in India. It's very sad for India to lose a great leader, a soldier & a thoroughly nice man,” Alex Ellis, British High Commissioner, told news agency ANI.
“He was somebody who invested a lot in improving the links between the UK and India in the area of defence. So, it’s a great loss. We remember him, his wife and all others who died in the crash, including many close friends of British High Commission,” he added.
Earlier, the mortal remains of General Rawat and his wife were kept at their official residence before cremation, to allow people to pay respects.
General Rawat's two daughters performed traditional rituals before the caskets of their parents were moved to the gun carriage.
Home Minister Amit Shah, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, and a host of other dignitaries, among others laid wreaths on the mortal remains of General Rawat and his wife.
Military personnel drawn from all the three services marched towards the streets as drummers played along in tribute to India's first Chief of Defence Staff.
Several foreign envoys also reached Rawat’s residence to pay their tributes.
Earlier in the day, right outside his official residence at 3, Kamraj Marg, several people who had gathered, raised slogans of 'Bharat Mata Ki Jai' (Victory for Mother India), 'Gen Rawat amar rahe' (long live, General Rawat, and 'Uttarakhand ka heera amar rahe' (Long live, Uttarakhand’s diamond), while dignitaries paid floral tributes and last respects till the funeral procession left the bungalow.
#WATCH | Delhi: Citizens raise slogans of "Jab tak suraj chaand rahega, Bipin ji ka naam rahega", as the cortège of #CDSGeneralBipinRawat proceeds towards Brar Square crematorium in Delhi Cantonment. pic.twitter.com/s7sjV4vg73— ANI (@ANI) December 10, 2021
As the mortal remains of General Rawat, carried in a casket wrapped in a tricolour, was moved to a gun carriage, decorated with flowers, people showered petals and raised slogans in his praise.
General Rawat, 63, his wife Madhulika Rawat, and 11 other defence personnel were killed when a Mi17V5 helicopter carrying them crashed near Coonoor in Nilgiris district of Tamil Nadu on Wednesday.
Earlier in the day, the funeral of Brigadier Lakhwinder Singh Lidder, defence assistant to General Rawat, and another victim of the chopper crash, was held at Delhi Cantonment.
As India's first Chief of Defence Staff, General Rawat was tasked to bring in theatre command and jointness among the three services, and he was pushing these with a tough approach and specific timelines in the last two years.
(With inputs from agencies)